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Sketches today!

I finished my page of hand studies with one more from Giovanni Civardi's "Complete Guide to Drawing," and then did a life drawing of my left hand holding the sketchbook. In some of his proportion comments, he mentioned that the hand is exactly as long as the forearm from wrist to elbow. Well, that proves that I'm stunted and deformed, my hand is an inch short of that but as wide as it ought to be for my general build. My feet are likewise short but wide. Figures, part of everything else that's crooked.

What this means is that proportion measurements like that always need to be tested against reality to get the likeness. They apply to perfectly proportioned healthy people, not to people who are short or tall or stocky or skinny, or long-limbed or short-limbed. The range between individuals is very striking. But when making up characters it's good to use the classical proportions because then you'll definitely come out with something that looks human!

I did the latest hand drawings while Sascha and I watched "Walking with Monsters," and halted the show at the start of the second episode where the giant spider comes up over a nest of baby lizards, menacing them. I always liked that spider and wanted to draw a giant spider convincingly...

Today has been a bit of a pain day. But yesterday, last night, I got about 2,000 words into my novel and it's ripping, it's going to be a good one now that I've started. Oh, the trouble that young man is going to be in, he doesn't know the half of what's waiting for him...
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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 24th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
I don't think that ratio is right - I tried it, and my forearm is about an inch longer too, if not more. But then, I'm long-limbed. ^_^

Those are great hand sketches, though.

It'd be interesting to go through an artist's work and see if you could correctly guess which works were from life and which were imagined just by looking at the proportions of the people: the perfectly proportioned imaginary; and the slightly off, from life.
Jul. 24th, 2008 06:40 am (UTC)
You could get mixed up that way too. I've known people who had perfect proportions. Kitten is one of them, a little lanky but somewhere between classical and fashion illustration. It's ethnic. So while it'd be fun to guess, past a certain point artists who are good at figures, faces and proportions will achieve a level where the ones from imagination or memory are as realistic as those from a model. But even at a high skill level, with model you get things like all the shadows exactly right and without you sometimes get gaps -- I look for certain types of imperfections to see if it's from imagination or sight.

And then do my best to remember those gaps when I try to draw anything from imagination, because you can overcome them one by one with practice. If I've drawn a particular face 20 times, then I start getting it right from memory too.

I just checked my left hand on my right arm and the proportion DOES fit -- large hand on short arm. It's the stunted hand on the long arm that has an inch of gap. Go fig. One more example of right side hemi-hypoplasia.

Putting my hands together wrist to wrist, my left hand is only 1/4" longer than my right hand, most of the shortness is in the arm. But that's enough to make the proportion of my left hand fit the short forearm. I guess my right hand is a little stunted more than the left even. But my right hand is slightly more muscular from more brush and pen holding. Typing evens out the exercise but when I draw or paint, the right hand gets more exercise.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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